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    23-Mar-2020

Health Ministry starts employing anti-malarial drug to treat COVID-19 cases

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — The Ministry of Health has announced that it started using an anti-malarial drug on Sunday to treat coronavirus cases in Jordan.
 
Spokesman of the National Epidemiological Committee Nazir Obaidat said in a press statement on Sunday that Jordan will start using the drug hydroxychloroquine, which he called “one of the oldest and most popular anti-malarial drugs”.
 
Although Obaidat said the decision to use the drug, which is a derivative of chloroquine, is based on studies that have shown its effectiveness, he noted that these studies “still need more empirical evidence”.
 
Obaidat explained that the drug has a positive effect on patients, and while it is not a treatment specifically designated for the coronavirus, studies and experiments have confirmed that it has “promising” effects.
 
The drug was previously used for malaria cases, while more recently it is used for the treatment of rheumatism and joint pain, noted Obaidat.
 
The National Epidemiological Committee also said that the drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Corporation for use in treating COVID-19 patients.
 
Hydroxychloroquine, according to Obeidat, is now available for prescription to patients confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus and is currently available in official Jordanian hospitals only.
 
He stressed that the drug cannot be used to treat patients who suffer from certain diseases, especially chronic ones.
 
The drug may cause a few side-effects, which are “rare and expected when using any drug”, he said, noting that these may include bleeding disorders for some patients and eye problems for others.
 
He concluded that the drug is not used as protection against the virus, but rather as a “treatment for general medical conditions diagnosed by physicians after they assess patients’ general conditions, especially their heart conditions”.
 
 

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